The Consciousness-Only (vijñapti-mātra) School of Chinese Buddhism is a transmission and development of the Consciousness-Only School of Indian Buddhism. Controversies exist regarding to what extent the Indian version was reshaped in China. Historically speaking, there were three major phases of the transmission of Indian Consciousness-Only doctrines: (1) early 6th century, represented by Bodhiruci; (2) mid-6th century, represented by Paramārtha (499-569); (3) mid-7th century, represented by Xuanzang (602?-664) and his disciples, who compiled the Cheng weishi lun (*Vijñapti-mātratā-siddhi) and were later regarded as orthodox. One of the major differences between the Consciousness-Only doctrine transmitted by Paramārtha and that by Xuanzang lies in their reception of Tathāgatagarbha thought. According to Paramārtha, all sentient beings share the Dharma-body of the Buddha and can be properly designated as “Buddha-containing” (tathāgata-garbha), but Xuanzang recognizes the existence of the icchantika-s, namely, a group of sentient beings who will never be enlightened and become Buddhas.
|Key works||Much about the development of this filed remains murky. Frauwallner 1982 and Otake 2013 touch upon Bodhiruci. Paul 1984, 聖凱 2006, Keng 2009 and Funayama 2012 focus on Paramārtha. Sponberg 1979 and Lusthaus 2003 discuss the doctrines of Xuanzang and his disciple Kuiji (632-682).|
|Introductions||Gimello 1976 remains a reliable introduction. Lusthaus 2003 is controversial in its interpretation of the Consciousness-Only doctrine of Xuanzang and Kuiji as phenomenology instead of as idealism.|
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